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Young Chicago musicians YAS Quartet perform in Halifax

The group, which recently finished in the top three of the 2016 Schoenfeld International String Competition in Harbin, China, strives to be an example of dynamic diversity and inclusivity in classical music.
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The YAS Quartet, a string quartet from Chicago performs on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts in a Cecilia Concerts show.

YAS Quartet performs on Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts, 6199 Chebucto Rd., Halifax.

The members of the young string quartet, who are Emerging Artists in Residence at Chicago College of Performing Arts, will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 11 Op. 95 Serioso, Webern’s Langsamer Satz and Ravel’s String Quartet in F major.

The group, which has performed as an ensemble in North America and Asia, was previously slated to perform on March 26 in a Cecilia Concerts show, but was rescheduled. 

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YAS Quartet was formed in 2015 in Chicago and includes violinist Artem Kolesov, violinist John Heffernan, cellist Titilayo Ayangade, and special guest violist Robert Alvarado Switala. The quartet recently finished in the top three of the 2016 Schoenfeld International String Competition in Harbin, China.

Kolesov, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, was invited to study with Philippe Djokic at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he received a bachelor of music degree in 2015 before moving to Chicago to study at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. Beginning his violin studies at the age of six, he won first prize at the International violin competition in Tallinn, Estonia, at 12 years of age. He was awarded a special prize as the most outstanding young violinist in St. Petersburg in 2009. 

Ayangade, who has made several appearances on the hit Fox television show Empire, is also a member of The Civic Orchestra of Chicago and Chicago Sinfonietta

Heffernan from Manhattan Beach, Calif., made his orchestral debut at the age of 12 with the Beach Cities Symphony after being named winner of the Young Artist of the Future Competition. In 2008, Heffernan performed in the From The Top Live at Carnegie Hall concert series as first violinist of the Colburn Honors String Quartet.

Switala began his musical studies at age six on violin and viola at 14. Since then, this Texan has gone on to play Carnegie Hall and study with Itzhak Perlman, Paul Kantor, and Jan Sloman. He is currently on sabbatical as a member of the El Paso and Las Cruces symphony orchestras while studying under Almita and Roland Vamos at Roosevelt University.

Comprised of different nationalities, cultures and socioeconomic groups, YAS Quartet strives to be an example of dynamic diversity and inclusivity in classical music. The quartet runs an outreach program that serves as a platform for unity through music and has performed for a wide variety of under-represented communities in the Chicago area and in other U.S. cities. 

"On their own, each member is extremely accomplished but together they have a rich and powerful synergy. The quartet strives to bring people together through the power of music and are perfect match for our audience," said Larry Bent, past chair of Cecilia Concerts in a news release.

Tickets are $10 child, $15 student, $20 senior and $30 adult and are available online here, at the door and by phone. Tickets purchased for the original date are valid for the new date.



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